Additive manufacturing in the medical sector : from an empirical investigation of challenges and opportunities toward the design of an ecosystem model

Mirco Peron*, Nicolò Saporiti, Majid Shoeibi, Jan Holmström, Mika Salmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: This works provides a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with Additive Manufacturing (AM) adoption in the medical sector. Through this analysis, we aim to better understand when to adopt AM, how to do so, and how such adoption might change in the future. Design/methodology/approach: This research first conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) to identify AM challenges and opportunities in the medical sector, which were then validated through a Delphi study. The 18 Delphi study participants were also asked to suggest countermeasures for the challenges and help identify future AM adoption scenarios. Finally, these findings were analyzed according to the ecosystem pie model to design an ecosystem model for AM in the medical sector. Findings: Among the 13 challenges and 13 opportunities identified, the lack of a skilled workforce and the responsiveness achievable via AM were by far the most relevant challenge and opportunity. Moreover, the participants identified countermeasures for 10 challenges, as well as three future AM adoption scenarios. Finally, leveraging these findings, an ecosystem model was developed. Originality/value: This work contributes to the limited understanding of the AM challenges and opportunities in the medical sector. It helps medical practitioners to better understand the challenges and opportunities associated with AM and AM manufacturers to better identify where to focus their R&D efforts and how this would impact future AM adoption levels. Furthermore, this work extends current theory supporting the design of an ecosystem model for AM in the medical sector following the ecosystem pie model.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Additive manufacturing (AM)
  • Challenges
  • Delphi study
  • Ecosystem model
  • Medical sector
  • Opportunities
  • Systematic literature review (SLR)

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